Our class went to the Jack Theater in Brooklyn to watch a theatrical play written by Derek Lee McPhatter. The play was presented to us during our class period by the writer and he described the show as a Black, queer, sci-fi, musical experience. This was a very unique opportunity for me since I had never seen a theatrical experience with such a resistant theme, especially with only black actors. In fact, this might be one of the only plays in this genre that has reached proper recognition. Derek mentioned during his visit that he was influenced by Afro-Futurism author Octavia Butler.
One of the main themes of the play was resistance, the main protagonist wishes to openly express his sexuality but cannot afford to do so due to being oppressed by his environment. The other characters, which included transgender males and females, were contributing to the idea of breaking away from traditional theatrical values which are white-centric.
The decor were very intriguing, the whole roof and walls were covered with aluminium and there was an interesting light reflection that contributed a lot to making the scene feel more alive. The costumes were very funky and futuristic, all sorts of colours were used and they really made it easier to identify each character. The music was also incredibly well tailored to the play. I think it might have been one of the best aspects.
The whole experience was very novel since it was still a play under development, actors were still reading the script from their textbooks and sometimes some of the pages being turned were quite distracting. Overall, this experience was definitely something worth seeing and made me realise that there are other theatrical pieces besides the typical ones that we learn during school.